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Rangel , Espaillat divvy up union support

Stephon Johnson | 5/15/2014, 12:24 p.m.
ndorsements are coming in quickly as the 13th Congressional District race heats up.
Charles Rangel

Endorsements are coming in quickly as the 13th Congressional District race heats up. Earlier last week, riding high after news of a new contract with the city, the United Federation of Teachers announced their endorsement of New York state Sen. Adriano Espaillat for Congress.

“He has been a vocal champion for pre-K funding and for additional state aid for education, and a proponent of Community Schools, which put needed health and community services where they have the most impact—inside city schools,” said UFT President Michael Mulgrew in a statement. “He has also been a leading voice for banning standardized tests for our youngest students, supported a three-year moratorium against the use of Common Core testing for student promotion and placement, and has backed giving the city and state comptrollers the power to audit charters, particularly charter practices that limit the enrollment and retention of high-needs students. Sen. Espaillat understands what New York schools need and will make sure the voices of teachers, parents and students are heard in Congress.”

Espaillat was happy to accept the endorsement. 

“Teachers are among the most important people in our children’s lives and in the shaping of our future,” said Espaillat in a statement. “In order for our community to succeed, we need to give our parents, students and teachers every resource we can. In Albany, I have fought to do just that, and in Congress, I will continue to lead the way for fair contracts, school funding and education opportunity for all.”

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Adriano Espaillat

Last week, Espaillat also received the endorsement of District Council 9, the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades.

“We are excited to announce our support for Adriano Espaillat for Congress today,” said DC 9 President Joseph Ramaglia in a statement. “Adriano has a history of bringing job opportunities to the district, and we know he will continue to do so in Congress. It is time for our community to have a leader who can build a long-term plan for job growth—Adriano Espaillat is that leader. We proudly support his candidacy today, and we are ready to work with him in Congress.”

But Rep. Charles Rangel, the long-time congressman who the state senator’s looking to replace, is gathering up union support on his own. All three AFSCME unions—DC 37, DC 1707 and CSEA—endorsed Rangel for re-election, citing his leadership and “lifelong record of delivering real results for working families.”

“The men and women of AFSCME are united in supporting Congressman Rangel for re-election because we know we can count on him to stand up for working families,” said AFSCME International President Lee Saunders in a statement. “Whether it’s pushing for better wages, fighting for affordable housing or defending the middle class, Congressman Rangel continues to be one of the most effective leaders in Washington.”

The incumbent congressman was pleased that the AFSCME had his back.

“I’m proud to be supported by the hardworking men and women of AFSCME. You keep this city running, and this endorsement is a true honor,” Rangel said. “I stand side by side with AFSCME members in the fight for good jobs, higher wages and better health care for the working families of Manhattan and the Bronx. Together, we will make a difference in the final years of the president’s term.” 

Rangel was recently endorsed by the likes of Local 237, New York State Association of Letter Carriers, Plumbers Union and Local 1.